Randy Burkett Lighting Design would like to express our sincerest condolences to our colleagues at Mackey Mitchell Architects on the passing of Gene Mackey this week. Having collaborated with Gene, and his firm, on numerous projects over the years we will miss his enthusiasm, passion, but more so, his spirit.

A statement from Randy:

‘I was profoundly saddened to hear of Gene’s passing this week. A consummate professional who made all of those around him strive to make a better world through what we do. Having reflected a bit on my time working with Gene over the years, I find myself smiling more than anything else. His wit stayed with me long after our face-to-face meetings. And I always enjoyed our collaborations.

One of my favorite (and I think little known) anecdotes involving Gene was from a teaming I had with him on designing the new Tony’s Italian restaurant in Saint Louis. Tony’s venerable North Broadway location was to be torn down to make way for the TWA Dome in the mid-1990’s. Prior to kicking off the design effort, we accepted a suggestion from owner Vince Bommarito that we have dinner at Tony’s (both Gene and I had eaten there separately several times over the years) and take in the fine dining experience once again. What was already to be an enjoyable and informative evening was quickly made even more so by Gene’s insistence that we be reseated at a new table after every course of the meal so that we might truly explore the many pleasurable perspectives of the Tony’s guest. After our fifth move to close the evening with zabaglione and expresso, I felt I knew Tony’s as well as could any diner. Cheers, Gene.’